AMI PODCASTS

Successfully running a healthcare practice is no easy task.

Janice Wheeler, the President and her team share their insights on what healthcare practice owners can do to help their business grow without sacrificing their work-life balance.

Whether you own a health care practice or just want to learn more about practice management, these are the podcasts for you!
Check our new podcasts out at the links below!

Ep 50 – A Better Future

Ep 50 – A Better Future

Ep 49 – Ejecting a Patient or A Client From Your Practice

Ep 48 – The Stress Of Indecision

Ep 47 – Extreme Service

Ep 46 – Interview With Marc Nadeau: Human Resources Laws And Handling Legal Matters In Your Practice

Ep 45 – 6 Cool Things To Learn As A Boss

Ep 44 – The Definition of Insanity

Ep 43 – Are You feeling Overwhelmed?

Ep 42 – How To Waste Money On marketing Dollars

Ep 41 – The Overly Busy Practice

Ep 40 – Effective Ways to Control Your Stress

Ep 39 – How to Get in Trouble With Your Staff

Ep 38 – Why Bosses Get Cranky

Ep 37 – Life-Work Balance

Ep 36 – Stabilizing New Staff Members

Ep 35 – The Department Of First Impressions” Objection

Ep 34 – Handling The “I Can’t Afford It” Objection

Ep 33 – Getting To Know Your New Patients

Ep 32 – Bad Future Or Good Future

Ep 31 – How To Get More Patients Into Your Practice

Ep 30- Dealing With People in The Workplace Isn’t Always Easy

Ep 29 – Are you Losing Your Profit Margin?

Ep 28 – Building loyalty With Staff and Patients

Ep 27 – Bosses Vs. Leaders – Which one are you?

Ep 26 – How To Deal With Negative Feedback and Criticism

Ep 25 – VACCINATE YOUR PRACTICE AGAINST COVID-19

Ep 24 – 3 Golden Rules to Communicate Better and Avoid Arguments

Ep 23 – How to Have More Patience With Your Patients

Ep 22 – FIVE Seriously Good Hiring Questions

Ep 21 – Update, Renovate or Move Your Healthcare Practice?

Ep 20 – How To Deliver Exceptional Patient Experience

Ep 19 – Internal Marketing (IMAGE! IMAGE! IMAGE!)

Ep 18 – How To Be Graceful Under Pressure

Ep 17 – Marketing Tip: DIG DEEP!

Ep 16 – What You Ultimately Want For Your Practice

Ep 15 – Keeping Your Practice Alive

Ep 14 – Pandemic Survival Tool for Your Practice

Ep 13 – Side effects of covid-19 on your practice

Ep 12 – Good Boss, Bad Boss

Ep 11 – How To Be More Successful In Your Life

Ep 10 – Take control of your practice

Ep 9 – Patient Education (part 3)

Ep 8 – Patient Education (Part 2)

Ep 7 – Patient Education (Part 1)

Ep 6 – How To Increase Patient Referrals

Ep 5 – How to Increase Patient Numbers

Ep 4 – Job Descriptions

Ep 3 – A Calm Working Environment

Ep 2 – The Ideal Employee

Ep 1 – Formulating a Winning Team

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A Surprising Tool to Promote Your Practice

Promotion

There is most definitely not a shortage of marketing ideas to grow your practice! We have written about hundreds of these, but we are always looking online to find more ways to help you reach your potential patients.  Our favourite ideas usually have to do with giving exceptional care to your existing patients and inspiring them to spread the word about your practice to their friends, family, neighbours, and co-workers.  So here is another one:

You have in your hands, pocket, purse or close by you a great device for reaching people you don’t even know yet and who don’t even know you!  And it costs you nothing to use it in a surprising number of ways.  It’s called a cell phone!

3 Surprising Ways to Use a Cell Phone

First of all, if you are concerned about giving out your cell phone number (most of us are over that now though), get a cell phone for office use only.  You can leave it at the office or carry it with you, depending on need.

  1. Surprise a new patient who is coming in for a first appointment tomorrow with a short 10 second video of yourself (selfie-style) saying “Hi ___, I’m Dr. _______ and I hear you’re coming to visit us tomorrow at 1 p.m. and I am looking forward to meeting you and seeing how we can make your life better.”
  2. If you have treated a patient today that had a bit of a hard time of it, do a 10 second selfie with you and your assistant, saying:  “Hi Mrs. _________, Dr. _______ and _______.  We just wanted to check in with you to say we’re hoping that you are now doing fine now.  If there is a problem and would like help, please don’t hesitate to call me at _______(cell #).”

These two messages are so easy to do and forward to the patient by text to their cell or by email.  Some little things to watch out for:

  • Make sure the background behind you is attractive and not cluttered.
  • Make sure the lighting on your face is good.
  • Make sure there are no other sounds going on around you.
  • Make sure that your clothing is clean (no blood on the lab coat, LOL) and neat.

Here’s a Third Idea

Years ago, the receptionist at my dental office asked me if I had anyone that I would like to refer to their practice and I said, as a matter of fact, I have a friend named Marilyn who needs a new dentist.  The receptionist got me to talk to Marilyn and we got her an appointment and Marilyn can’t thank me enough for reaching out to her and saving her front teeth that were getting loose.

  1. Here is an “out there” idea that only your best staff are going to be able to do:  When a patient has been treated and come out to the front to pay their bill and they are happy with the service today, ask if they have any friends, family, neighbours, or co-workers that they think might be a possible candidate for your practice.  If they have someone in mind, ask the patient if they would like to use the office cell phone to text or email a quick selfie message to the person saying:  “Hi Jane, Just a quick message … I’m at my doctor’s office and just had a great treatment/experience/appointment today, and I just wanted to let you know that I go to a great practice in case you were needing to find a new one.”  Or:  “Hi Marilyn, I’m at my ______(dental) office right now and just wanted to remind you that you were thinking of calling Dr. __________ to make your first appointment.  Use the number that I am calling from right now and talk to ___________ (receptionist).”

5 Ways to Build Lasting Impressions for Practice Growth 

In the first place, the sole source of income for your practice is from patients or clients you provided service to.  If they are happy enough, they will not only pay you but may even bring you cookies or chickens, etc.  (I have heard the cutest stories on this.)  But, even better than that, they will come back for more service and, if they are incredibly happy, they will refer their friends and acquaintances to you.  And I am VERY sure that you already have some patients who do all that!!

Therefore, if you would like to expand your practice, it never hurts to ask yourself this question: “How do I get EVEN MORE of my patients to come back to me and also to refer more people to me?”  Here are 5 ways to make a lasting impression on your patients and fill up your practice with referrals:

The Golden Rule:   

Treat your patients the way YOU would like to be treated.

Have you ever gone to a healthcare practice as a patient where you have been treated like a VIP from beginning to end?  If you haven’t, then think of things that have happened to you on the negative side that you would want to make sure NEVER happen to YOUR patients, and what you can do on the positive side of it.

The First Impression is NOT your Reception 

The first impression these days is created by your website and Facebook page.  Most patients or clients will look you up online before making an appointment for the first time.

So be sure that you have a good website, with less words and more pictures.  Keep in mind that the purpose of the website is to make people love you and your practice. Boring them to death with a lot of narrative about where you went to school and so on is not going to enhance their idea of you. Photos of you and your family (and grandchildren if you have some) are always heartwarming.

On your front page, you should have a nice short 1-2 minute video with a good cell phone camera, of you in upscale dress (not in your PPE for this particular video), in an uncluttered reception area talking about your practice and your mission or passion to give people awesome service. (Choose your own wording.)

Also, this is a place to have a few extremely happy, well-spoken patients do a testimonial, either in writing with their picture (finished product ONLY) or, even better, a short 15 second video.  They can sign a waiver giving you permission to publish.

Second Impression 

The second impression on your existing patients and potential new patient IS your receptionist because how the phone is answered, and the warmth and sincerity of the dialogue is definitely a make/break point in the service level of your practice and how full your schedule will be.  Also, try to never let phone calls go to Voice Mail during the open hours of your practice.  If a potential new patient hits the VM, they may just dial the next provider on their list and you just lost a life-long new patient.

Third Impression 

A great first visit for a new patient is super important for long term relationship building.  Always see a new patient within 48 hours of initial contact is an important rule (keep a daily opening in your schedule for this purpose).  When they arrive on time, be sure to see them on time.  You can even send them a short 15-second video by text or email the night before their first appointment introducing yourself and letting them know that you are looking forward to meeting them and taking care of them.  When they come in, greet the patient like you are excited to see and meet them, and make them feel welcome and at home.

Fourth Impression 

Your patients share personal life information with you, like their grandson is graduating next week or their daughter is getting married in 2 months, and so on.  Because you have so many patients and you would have to be a super-genius to remember all those personal touch details when they come back for their next appointment, it is a great system to store those snippets of info in the patient’s chart in the computer or in the hard copy file.  Make a habit to check those and refresh your memory before you see each patient so that you can ask the patient about them.  Show you care – they will appreciate it.

Fifth Impression 

When a patient has received a somewhat major treatment, you should do a quick follow up call just to check and see if everything is okay.  A new way to do this is to text or email a 10 second video of you saying you loved seeing them today and hope that they are doing fine and if not, please call me at this number.  A little extra care goes a LONG way.

Lasting Impressions 

Implement all these ideas for lasting impressions and fill up your practice!

Screaming Emergencies

Running a successful, profitable practice at the best of times is never a piece of cake, but when you add in all the COVID-19 complications of physical distancing, extra sterilizing, scheduling, staff issues, and so on, you may find times when you feel like you are frozen into inaction. You don’t know where to start or what to do next.

With so many screaming emergencies (that only you seem to be able to solve), or overwhelmingly important decisions that you need to take some time to think about, you can start to feel like there’s no room left in your head to process correct answers. Have you ever felt this way?

The Four Step Handling

The good news is that there are solutions to this dilemma or feeling of overwhelm.

  1. SHUT THE DOOR!

For the first step, you may have to get through work today and then start on the first step when you are finished, but it is important to do this TODAY.  You need to go in your office and shut the door … this may be figuratively speaking if you don’t have an office or you may go home and do this in your home office or a quiet space where you will not be interrupted.  This is VITAL because you need to shut yourself away from the whole world for a while.  Take a deep breath and let it out slowly.  If at all possible, remind yourself of your favorite joke or your favorite song and sing it.  Do something to bring your mood up so that you feel happier.  Don’t go to the next step until you have done this step.

  1. MAKE A LIST

Now you need to make a list of every immense-seeming situation that you are confronting:  the emergencies, the important decisions, the staff problems, the financial difficulties, … anything and everything that is on your mind. Do this very rapidly without thinking about each item that you write down. These can include anything from work, home, other areas of your life.  Did you get everything on the list?  You should feel a bit of relief just in naming all the situations.

  1. PRIORITIZE

The next step is to go quickly through the list and prioritize the items.  Some things are totally urgent and others are able to wait awhile to be solved. Mark a letter in front of each item on the list as to whether it is urgent, can wait a bit, or are longer term.

  1. START!

Take one of the urgent items on the list and confront it (face it squarely on) and make a decision as to what to do about it.  You may need to take an action to handle it or it could be just that you needed to actually DECIDE.  Once you have done this, congratulate yourself on getting that done.

Continue down the list of urgent items until you have made all your decisions about each one.  You may have actions that need to be taken later to carry out what you have decided, so you may wish to diarize them in your scheduler as to when exactly you are going to take such actions.

When the urgent items are all finished, continue down the list doing the same thing, one-by-one until you get to the bottom.

CONGRATULATIONS!

This may take a few hours but if you did exactly as above, you will feel like things are much more confrontable and calmer.  You may even feel excited to get going on the steps you have decided. Make a date with yourself to SHUT THE DOOR in a week and review your progress.

Now congratulate yourself!  And get going!

(For help concerning issues that are practice management difficulties, be sure to give us a call and set up a time for our free, in-depth practice analysis to see what needs to be done to shine in that area of your life.  Call: 416-466-6217)